Optimizing Operational Control of U.S. Army Attack Aviation
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the benefits and drawbacks of assigning the operational control of U.S. Army attack aviation to the JFACC. The affirmative perspective offers three issues to support JFACC control. The inclusion of attack helicopters to the pool of assets available for tasking by the JFACC would offer much needed relief to over burdened air forces. Second, U.S. Army doctrinal employment of attack aviation fails to fully exploit the capabilities of attack helicopters. Last, the advances in technology has resulted in the emergence of a new way of war, and that all military professionals are imbued with a moral obligation to evolve warfighting doctrine to meet the new challenges of the 21st Century. The counter perspective supports continuing the ground commanders operational control of attack aviation. This argument focuses on attack aviations inseparable link to the terrestrial domain and the combined arms team. This monograph proposes that a utopian option of attack aviation assets transitioning from one command relationship to another is not a viable solution. Therefore, the analysis of the two command relationship options examined is based on weighing the marginal benefits accrued under JFACC operational control versus the potential for catastrophic failure in a medium to high intensity land war. The conclusions from this comparison of the two command relationships indicate that the ground commander should retain operational control of attack helicopters.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics